FVS Youth Symphony violinist Alicia Mose selected by Rachel Barton Pine to perform on 7/11 in Chicago

July 5, 2010

Kara Patterson

Post Crescent

Kaukauna youth violinist Alicia Mose has found an electronic pen pal and music mentor in internationally recognized solo violinist Rachel Barton Pine. And in Alicia, a recipient of an education grant from Pine's Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation, Pine has discovered a musician of promise who shares Pine's desire to help others.

Pine, a Chicago-based musician, has chosen Alicia, 13, as one of three youth grant recipients who will perform the Vivaldi Concerto for Four Violins in a quartet with her on July 11 during the Great Performers of Illinois festival in Chicago. The festival in Millennium Park is an annual celebration of Illinois arts contributions.

"The Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation supports young artists between the ages of 10 and 30," Pine said in an e-mail interview. "At 13, the three girls with whom I will perform are some of our younger recipients, yet all are competition winners, very experienced performers and phenomenally talented. All of them are ready to get up on the big stage at Millennium Park, and I know the audience is going to get a real thrill out of hearing them."

Pine, who values music education and community service, and Alicia, a violinist in the Fox Valley Symphony Youth Symphony, connected after Alicia attended a Fox Valley Symphony concert featuring Pine at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in late 2007.

Inspired by Pine, Alicia — whose multiple music honors include 2010 Fox Valley Young Artist competition winner in junior strings and several youth composition awards — applied for and received the foundation grant. It helps cover expenses related to her study of music.

"I was struck by the maturity in her playing at such a young age, but also by her powerful description of her dreams, goals and musical activities," Pine said. "Alicia's love of music shone through in her words as it does in her performance. So it wasn't just her accomplishment as an unusually advanced player of her age, but also her love of music which convinced us to give her one of our grants."

Alicia wrote a thank-you note to Pine, and the two have kept in touch. Alicia has received a violin lesson from Pine in Chicago.

"We worked a lot on being more expressive," said Alicia, a home-schooled student who plans to enter ninth grade in fall at Fox Valley Lutheran High School in Appleton. "She was really nice and she found fun ways to help me learn."

Alicia, who started playing the violin at age 4, is well suited to the stage, said Lawrence University associate professor of music Samantha George, with whom Alicia studies at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music.

"Alicia is one of the most exceptional young violinists I've ever known," George said. "She's already playing the kind of repertoire that college students play. She is also a really exciting performer, very dramatic and passionate when she plays. I think a lot of times when people are that age they're still struggling with basic technical elements of the instrument. She's just already solved so many of her technical problems that she can kind of cut loose on stage."

Alicia's mother, Jane Mose, said it's a joy to watch her daughter on stage.

"She amazes me with how she just seems like such a natural when she goes up and plays," Mose said. "Once she starts thinking about the song, I think she probably doesn't think about who's listening anymore, she just concentrates on the music."

Alicia, who is spending four weeks at an Indiana University strings camp, will leave camp for the Chicago concert.

She and her family are bringing to Chicago donations of music supplies and instruments for Global HeartStrings, an outreach of Pine's foundation that supports musicians in developing countries.

"We left boxes in different places like Fox Valley Lutheran and Lawrence Academy of Music, and people could just drop off donations in the boxes, and we'd come around periodically and collect them," said Alicia, who had asked Pine for ideas about how to give back through music.

"They go to countries like Haiti and Kenya and Ghana, so kids can learn music," Alicia added. "Sometimes it's hard for them to get music supplies. I want to use my violin to glorify God and his name, because he's the one who gave me the ability."

Pine said Alicia sent her photos of the supplies she collected.

"I think she has the spirit of a true musician," Pine said. "Not only does she have initiative, drive, a strong work ethic and talent, she wants to use her music to make the world a better place."

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